22RE Performance Upgrades – Is 22RE Engine Reliable?

The 22RE engine often appears in Toyota cars, which was once complained about operational issues in the early days of its release.

Luckily, 22RE performance upgrades have received a lot of positive feedback from experts and customers.

This article will highlight the strengths of the engine rebuild parts. Besides, we won’t ignore technical errors before the engine modifications.

If your car runs with the engine 22RE, you won’t want to miss out on this post.

What Is A 22RE Engine?

22RE Performance Upgrades

Toyota 22RE was launched in 1982 with a capacity of 105 horsepower. Initially, it was considered fuel injection of a 4-cylinder 2 engine with an average volume of about 2.4 liters.

The 22 RE performance is appreciated for its durability and reliability. It has a cylinder diameter of 3.62 inches and a stroke of 3.5 inches.

In fact, the engine was used in the Toyota Hilux (1985–1995), Toyota Celica (183-1985), Toyota Corona RT142(1983-1987), Toyota Pickup (1984-1995), Toyota 4 Runner (1985-1995), Toyota Volkswagen Taro (1989-1997)

The 22RE engine is a new and improved version of the 22R. The 22R engine’s double row timing chain has now been streamlined to a single row timing chain at the 22RE rebuilt engine.

Upgrade plans were implemented in the following years. Almost all major engine components undergo modifications or renewals.

After a large-scale renovation, the engine specifications have been outstandingly upgraded. It now has a reliable power output with a 140 lb/ft speed and 3,600 rpm torque.

What Are Some 22RE Engine Issues?

Timing Chain

A timing chain is used to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft. It ensures that the engine valves open and closes precisely to the pistons’ position.

Mentioning the 22RE issues, the timing chain on the motor is always high on the list. The problem is not operational failure but durability.

Versions released in 1983 were made from an unfavorable material for automotive engines’ durability – plastic.

They are highly prone to breaking or cracking over short usage. The plastic material also affects the heat dissipation of the water jacket and damages the motor.

Head Gasket

The head gasket’s quality before the 22RE engine mods is less reliable. The manufacturer used an iron block and an aluminum head to install the engine.

As you know, aluminum – a good conductor of heat, expands very strongly at high temperatures.

So this aluminum part may be deformed due to expansion or overheated if the vehicle operates with a heavy load.

What Are Some 22RE Performance Upgrades?

Most of the 22RE engines’ main components have undergone a large-scale upgrade, namely header, cold air intake, electric fan kit, cylinder head, big bore throttle body, and flywheel.

Improvement features are regarded as a substantial difference from the previous version. Let’s see!



The header, aka the manifold exhaust, is one of the first highlights of the 22RE upgrades. After the improvement, the engine can directly eliminate the exhaust gasses from the cylinders.

This solution is more effective, reducing back pressure commonly found in stock-style manifolds.

Each cylinder of the header is paired with an exhaust pipe of the same length.

Dimensional uniformity can minimize back pressure when the cylinder’s gas is delivered to the collector. This way, capacity and fuel mileage can be increased by about 10%.

Cool Air Intake

Cool air intake is responsible for bringing cool air into the inner engine, cooling, and avoiding overheating during operation.

Just like when your car is full bolts on, this system has shown a stronger performance that draws more air in thanks to the improvement.

The more oxygen absorbed, the more overall horsepowers performed. As a result, the driver can notice enhancement during the drive, especially when accelerating.

Besides, when the engine is cooled continuously, it can work efficiently without burning too much fuel. So, this improvement can also save fuel efficiency.

Electric Fan Kit

Electric Fan Kit

The electric fan kit is one of the most highly rated 22RE engine upgrades which can liberate lost power.

The drag generated by the stock clutch fan explains the power loss. And this electric fan kit works by abolishing this agent.

The kit can also contribute to the engine’s cooling efficiency by adding airflow through the radiator. From there, fuel efficiency increases while loading is reduced evenly across the entire engine.

Cylinder Head

Cylinder Head

We want to spoil a hint about the 22RE engine that the cylinder head determines its performance. A moderate amount of cylinder head activity can result in high overall performance.

The latest 22RE engine exhibits more powerful power output and torque, as we mentioned. The trick lies in this feature, which increases the quality of pistons and rods.

Larger Throttle Body

Larger Throttle Body

To enhance the performance of the 22RE engine, the bore throttle body diameter has been increased to 55MM-57MM.

You can expect a more responsive throttle and more precise power distribution.



The flywheel’s duty is to absorb excess energy from the engine and store it. This accumulation can offset the drag pressed on the powertrain.

The heavy flywheel can prevent you from the clutch slipping (the engine isn’t fully routed to the transmission, reducing the vehicle’s performance) at stops along the way.

The flywheel in the 22RE engine has been designed to be lighter. It requires little energy to operate or move.

As such, the wheel can receive the actual total force generated by the engine and rotate more smoothly.

How Much Horsepower Can You Get From 22RE Engine Upgrades?

Horsepower is an important specification when considering and choosing a vehicle, as it directly affects the engine’s performance.

The engine can accelerate faster when it has more horsepower and more torque.

Conversely, an engine with lower horsepower will save more fuel, showing slower acceleration and even can’t pass 60.

With the 22RE engine, improvements on each part have been combined to boost horsepower performance.

Compared to the original 105mph, horsepower has increased to 114, making the engine more powerful.

Notably, regardless of the increase in horsepower, the engine can still ensure fuel efficiency.

Can You Turbo 22RE Engine?

You can turbo your 22-RE engine with some things to bear in mind.

You should know that the stock compression ratio of the 22RE engine is too high (9.4:1) to work harmoniously with the turbocharger.

So, the advantages of the turbo kit can not be utilized optimally.

Instead, you might consider the stock engine installed by the EFI unit, which does not affect the supercharger’s performance.

However, the 22RE engine had difficulty in slowing down timing and refueling to monitor the turbo charge. The important tip is to limit your gain to a maximum of 6lbs.

In addition, you also need to reduce the compression ratio from 9.4:1 to 8.0:1 or 8.4:1, enabling smooth acceleration.

We recommend an add-on performance item: LC Pro Fuel Injection Kit. Larger injectors can boost the amount of fuel in the cylinders.

With lower compression, it can operate in the boost up to 15lbs and slow down timing during high-load operation.

Long story short, we recommend only when you consider the low compression and improved fuel injectors can you turbo the 22RE engine.

And of course, you should turn to a specialized mechanic center to satisfy your requirement.

Is 22RE Engine Reliable?

The 22RE engine performance was detected and upgraded promptly. So, besides the 22R, 22RE is still one of the reliable engines for Toyota automotive models.

Since the improvement, it seems that errors are less frequent, and overall operation is smoother.

The average lifespan of the 22RE engine ranges from 200,000 miles to 300,000 miles – a significant number.


In sum, there are several highlights in the 22RE performance upgrades. They are destined to improve performance, save fuel, and eliminate risk factors for vehicle operation.

Obviously, these improvements have proven effective thanks to the previous users’ feedback. Specifically, they noticed a considerable difference in performance.

You can trust the latest version of the 22RE engine. Otherwise, you can look for other more state-of-the-art alternatives.

If so, you should consult specialized technicians as much as possible to ensure the quality of the vehicle’s operation.

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